Automation to manage windows based on context

Macbook Air, 1 external monitor at home, 1 external monitor at the office. (monitors are different sizes, so I organize them slightly differently. I’ve been using Better Touch Tools, but I need to learn some Mac Shortcuts so this might be a good chance to practice!

Desired end state: Trigger an automation that will open and arrange apps in the way I like across several desktops on the external monitor and the open laptop.


  1. I can’t figure out how to automate going to a specific desktop (like, “go to desktop 2 on external monitor”). Best I’ve got is “type the keyboard shortcut for 5 or 6 times” :slight_smile:

  2. If an app is already open, BTT will go to the desktop it’s already on instead of opening it on the desktop I’m currently on. Which of course messes up the rest of the automation since it starts open the next apps on the wrong desktop as well!

Any solutions or tips would be much appreciated!

If you specifically are looking to use Shortcuts then you can ignore the following. :slight_smile:

I use Bunch and Moom for this. I currently have three main displays (and a small fourth display) and ten spaces.

Below is the Bunch file for setting up my Photo Editing context.

Note that I have Photo Mechanic assigned to Space 1 and Photoshop assigned to Space 4, so they automatically open in those spaces. The “~10” is Bunch syntax for delay. These are needed so things open in the correct space, before things move to the next space. So in this example, the Finder windows open in Space 9, and then the apps start to open after a ten second delay to give the windows enough time to open and then for Moom to move them to the desired positions.

The Control-9, {^9} in the Bunch file, keyboard shortcut is set up in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Mission Control (after clicking the ‘flippy arrow’). You could use this instead of “type the keyboard shortcut 5 or 6 times.” :slight_smile:

title: 📸 PhotoEdit
# This is my photo editing context

# Switch to Space 9

# Open Image Folders

- /Volumes/Images/ Originals
- /Volumes/Workflow/DNGs
- /Volumes/FireCuda 2T/Camera Card
- /Volumes/FireCuda 2T/PM Ingested Images

# AppleScript to invoke Moom
* tell application "Moom" to arrange windows according to snapshot "Image Workflow" ~5

# Apps to launch 
Photo Mechanic Plus ~10 
Adobe Photoshop 2022 ~10 
Backdrop ~10
ON1 NoNoise AI 2022 ~10

I currently have ten Bunch files for opening different sets of apps and folders based on what I want to do.

Hope this helps.